A mega-ship blocking the Suez Canal could cause a new toilet paper crisis, it is alleged.
It comes just a year after UK supermarket shelves were stripped of toilet paper shortly before the first lockdown in a frenzy of panic buying.
Huge queues of ships waiting for the Suez Canal to be unblocked could now lead to a new global shortage of toilet paper, according to the pulp company Suzano SA.
According to BloombergWalter Schalka, chief executive officer of Suzano SA, said the company was having trouble finding ships to transport its products.
Usually around 50 ships pass through the Suez Canal every day. However, they have been blocked since the 200,000 tonne Ever Given ran aground.
Lars Jensen, a Denmark-based expert on container shipping, said the transport of everyday household items – including toilet paper – was affected.
He said, “Basically anything you see in stores.”
Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell told NBC News, “We have a literal bottleneck in the Suez Canal today. This relieves a system that is already starving for capacity.”
The pandemic has already caused cargo shipping rates to surge to record highs as the global logistics network comes under pressure.
Addressing the potential crisis, a Boris Johnson spokesman said: “We are working with the authorities to assess the situation. We are ready to provide any help we can.
“We have not been approached by any UK company or organization with concerns about the impact on their shipping schedules.”
“However, some goods destined for the UK may be delayed in transit.”